The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has awarded a contract to Metabolon to identify disease biomarkers related to multiple sclerosis.

A spokesperson for Metabolon said the firm could not disclose the value of the contract.

“Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological disease disabling young adults in the United States,” said John Ryals, president and chief executive officer of Metabolon. “Using metabolomics, we hope to find biomarkers that will determine a cause for the disease and that can be used to create a definitive diagnostic tool for MS.”

Blood samples from patients with multiple sclerosis will be compared to blood of healthy subjects exposed to similar environmental conditions in an attempt to identify biomarkers that could indicate a metabolic difference between the subject groups.